The luminosity function of morphologically classified galaxies in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

Osamu Nakamura, Masataka Fukugita, Naoki Yasuda, Jon Loveday, Jon Brinkmann, Donald P. Schneider, Kazuhiro Shimasaku, Mark SubbaRao

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191 Scopus citations


The morphological dependence of the luminosity function is studied, using a sample containing approximately 1500 bright galaxies classified into Hubble types by visual inspection, for a homogeneous sample obtained from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey northern equatorial stripes. Early-type galaxies are shown to have a characteristic magnitude 0.45 mag brighter than that of spiral galaxies in the r* band, consistent with the "universal characteristic luminosity" in the B band. The shape of the luminosity function differs rather little among different morphological types: we do not see any symptoms of the sharp decline in the faint end of the luminosity function for early-type galaxies at least 2 mag fainter than the characteristic magnitude, although the faint-end behavior shows a slight decline (α ≲, -1) compared with the total sample. We also show that the rather flat faint-end slope for early-type galaxies is not due to an increasing mixture of dwarf galaxies, which have softer cores. This means that there are numerous faint early-type galaxies with highly concentrated cores.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1682-1688
Number of pages7
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number4 1768
StatePublished - Apr 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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